Indie Author ‘Uh-Oh!’ Moments

(1) Spelling or grammar mistake in the title (whoops!)

(2) Used image placeholder (had no cover)

(3) Published an ebook without checking the preview (surprise!)

(4) Sued over copyright infringement for internet photos (they’re not free?)

(5) Got in a lengthy argument with a reviewer (sure showed the world)

(6) Used Google’s automatic translator (won’t understand the bad reviews)

(7) Didn’t read any formatting guides (it looked perfect on the monitor)

(8) Blurry paperback cover (used free 96 DPI picture from Google)

(9) Used Comic Sans (look out for the font police)

(10) Sued for using lyrics in book (they’re just 20 words out of 60,000)

(11) Didn’t report royalties to IRS (wasn’t much to report)

(12) Reviewed his/her own book ten times (multiple personalities?)

(13) Used the same author page for young adult and erotica (umm)

(14) Ragged right, strange line and paragraph spacing (used Word’s defaults)

(15) Crazy search results (used “harry,potter,twilight,lady,gaga” for keywords)

(16) Drew cover illustration with crayons (nice book to hang on fridge)

(17) ENTIRE BOOK WRITTEN IN CAPS (loud and clear)

(18) Misspelled author’s name (identity crisis)

(19) Forgot to change page headers for second book (head-smack)

(20) Tried to sell to local bookstore, but forgot to bring books (uh-oh)

Fortunately, most indie authors don’t make such outrageous mistakes. But a few do. We often focus on the few who make the worst mistakes, rather than the majority who only make minor mistakes. Of course, the bigger the mistake, the greater the entertainment.

Let’s remember what challenges face the self-published author. Writing a few hundred pages is an accomplishment in itself, but it’s only the beginning. There is proofreading, which is different from editing and formatting. Then there is the art of writing itself. Add to this the challenge of designing a cover, making illustrations, writing a blurb, publishing, marketing, and public relations.

While it may be fun to laugh at the sillier mistakes, perhaps we should also silently acknowledge the many indie authors who have managed to publish their work with only minor mistakes. Congratulations to all of you! 🙂

Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

7 comments on “Indie Author ‘Uh-Oh!’ Moments

  1. Oh dear. A book published in caps? It’s really difficult to believe that someone would do that… or other things on that list. Admittedly I’m guilty of 11, but then again, I don’t live in the States. 🙂

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